Whether you recently purchased one or not, you might be aware the iPhone 15 Pro has an overheating issue. Between news outlets and social media posts, reports flooded in from 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max users complaining their brand new iPhones were almost too hot to touch.
These heat spikes reportedly occurred during a variety of conditions. Some users noticed it while charging their 15 Pros, while others found heat would generate while chatting on the phone. Without an official response from Apple, the running theory pointed to the new A17 Bionic chip. Apple’s latest and greatest is the most powerful chip the company ever put in a smartphone—perhaps it was too powerful. It seemed possible we were looking at a 2018 MacBook Pro situation, where the Intel i9 chip generated too much heat for the computer’s thin chassis to properly disperse.
However, Apple has now publicly commented on the overheating issue, identifying three main culprits: First, Apple says iPhone 15 Pros may overheat during initial setup or after restoring the device, since there is an unusual amount of background activity during these periods. That tracks: A device tends to go through more intense periods of activity during initialization, because there are so many processes going on to get the device to a stable point. It’s why you may notice your smartphone’s battery life getting worse after a big update, and why it evens out after a bit.
If your iPhone 15 Pro is affected by this issue, the overheating should have slowed down after a period of use. However, it’s only one third of the possibilities here. The second cause of overheating is a bug in iOS 17 itself. Apple doesn’t get specific here, but they blame an issue in software for some overheating problems, and promises an imminent update to fix it.
Third, however, is related to third-party software. Apple says certain app updates have caused the software to “overload the system,” which can lead to overheating as well. The company specifically calls out Instagram, Uber, and the game Asphalt 9, but it’s possible other apps are at fault as well.
Notably, Apple made a point to say the 15 Pro’s design was not a factor in overheating issues. Some had theorized the new titanium metal Apple used in the phone was causing the devices to heat up more than they should.
First, keep your eye on the Software Updates page in Settings > General on your iPhone 15 Pro. Once Apple releases an update (likely called iOS 17.0.3), you should install it as soon as possible to patch the overheating bug in iOS 17.
However, you don’t need to wait for this update to stop your iPhone from overheating. As Apple mentioned, some third-party apps are to blame here, specifically updates that clearly are not properly optimized for the iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 chip. As such, make sure you update your apps frequently: While they’ll update on their own, it sometimes takes a while, so update them manually by tapping on your profile picture in the App Store. You may need to pull down on this page to refresh the list of available app updates.
According to Forbes, Meta already updated Instagram last week to address the overheating issue, and other apps are likely not far behind. That said, I also recommend disabling “Background App Refresh” for these apps from Settings > General. Doing so will prevent apps like Instagram from running wild in the background, which avoids a potential overheating issue and saves you some battery life.
Personally, I keep Background App Refresh turned off for all apps, because I don’t need my apps dictating when they should pull new data in the background: If I want to refresh an app, I’ll open it myself, thank you very much. If you want to keep the feature on, but want an idea of which apps to disable it for, head to Settings > Battery, and take a look at which apps are running in the background. Instagram, for example, is likely doing numbers when you’re not using it, so keep Background App Refresh turned off for good.